Masinagudi: An elephant was killed after a burning tyre was thrown at it in Tamil Nadu's Masinagudi in Nilgiris district. According to the Forest Officials, the incident occurred on January 8, but it became known only after the video of the same started doing the rounds on Twitter.
A team of forest officials apprehended two persons at the resort, including the owner, for the crime. Raymond Dean, the resort owner, and Prasath, a staffer, have been arrested. Another person involved in the incident is yet to be arrested, and officials are on the lookout. During the course of their investigation, videos of the incident were found in their phones.
In a tweet, Praveen Angusamy, IFS officer wrote, "Two of the accused involved in killing the elephant in Nilgiris have been arrested by Tamilnadu Forest Department. The resort involved has been sealed. The elephant was fondly called 'SI' because it walked like a strict police officer & never harmed anyone."
The accused have been arrested under section 9 of the Indian Wildlife Protection Act.
The elephant had entered a resort situated in the buffer zone of Mudumalai Tiger Reserve and damaged a luxury car that was parked there. The staff of the private resort later filled a tyre with kerosene, lit it and hurled that at the elephant.
Videos shared on Twitter shows that the elephant was running around with the burning tyre stuck on its head.
The elephant was spotted a few days ago near the Singara forest range by the locals. They alerted the forest officials at Bokkapuram who arrived at the area and tranquillized the animal for treatment. The officials noticed several injuries on the animal's back.
The elephant had sustained severe injuries and passed away before it could be taken to a treatment facility at the Mudumalai forest range. An autopsy was conducted and the nature of the elephant's injuries was found to be from burns.
The elephant was already under the care of the Forest Officials who were treating it for other injuries when it died from severe burn injuries.
A forest official said, "A 50-year-old wild jumbo was noticed with injuries on its back in November and for the past two months we were trying to give treatment. In December, we captured the injured jumbo seen with pus on the injured area and later we provided treatment to that elephant and let it into the forest area."
The official further added that the elephant had started moving to the residential area again but did not cause any damage. However, in the first week of January, the elephant moved to the residential area and was seen by the residents who chased and injured the elephant.
Nilgiris district collector J Innocent Divya said orders have been passed to close the building in Mavanallah where the elephant was injured. The district collector also added that the owners of the property were running a home-stay in the upper floor of the building with four rooms, which will be closed.
Last year a pregnant elephant was killed in the Palakkad district of Kerala after it bit into an explosive-laden fruit. A leopard was also recently killed in Kerala after locals set up a trap to catch it.